Extreme weather warnings. Polar vortex. –30° with the windchill.
These are all words getting thrown around in newscasts, conversations and on social media this past week. Bottom line, it is COLD outside. It’s even cold inside. We are all racing from our houses to our garages, or from our cars into work, shops or restaurants. We’re bundled up with sweaters, blankets and warm fuzzy socks in front of the fireplace with the heat cranked, AND we’re still cold!
Now imagine what it must be like for those less fortunate than us. Those that don’t have warm homes, fireplaces or cars with seat warmers. At any given time in Calgary alone, there are three to four thousand people that don’t have warm homes to stay in when the temperature drops to these extreme weather conditions. They wear everything they own and do what they can to brave this awful cold. We struggle being outside for more than two minutes on our walk to the car, can you even imagine what it must be like to be outside for long periods of time or even all night?
We first heard about the dire need for winter donations for shelters two years ago when the Calgary Drop-In Centre put a call out for toques, gloves, underwear, socks and towels. Local Laundry wanted to find a way to give back to our community so that those less fortunate individuals could stay warm during this cold, cold winter.
That’s when the Giving Toque was born – a made in Canada toque dedicated to alleviating some of the pressures that arise from being stuck in cold weather conditions like this. For every Giving Toque that Local Laundry sells, we made the commitment to donate a sister toque to homeless organizations across Canada. Last year was the first year of this initiative and we were blown away by the support of the community. We donated 550 toques to shelters in Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa!
Our goal this year was to surpass that number and thanks to our retail partners and new and returning customers, we are proud to donate over 575 toques! That means so far, we have donated more than 1,200 toques total! We are inspired by our community and what they can accomplish when they come together and support each in times of need, it truly is incredible.
When we committed donating the toques, we didn’t want to donate ‘Local Laundry branded toques’ and use this initiative as a clever marketing ploy. We wanted to donate the warmest toques we could possibly find! So, we made sure that the toques we were donating were extra warm and well insulated.
The two organizations we decided to support this year are the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Edmonton Hope Mission. Both organizations have been doing fantastic work in the community with at-risk populations for years now. Both cities have been experiencing record cold temperatures for the past week and likely will for a few more weeks.
We believe that the ‘giving model’ we have incorporated into Local Laundry is a sustainable way that we can give back to the community and support those in need.
Last fall we released the second generation of our giving garments - “the Giving Socks.” We look forward to creating more made in Canada garments and pieces that support Canadian manufacturing, a diverse Canadian economy, and Canadians in need!